Praises for XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference
“Evan Lenz’s XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference is a masterpiece of concise, readable and useful writing.

“This is an amazing feat of distilling all you really need to know about XSL into 170 pocket-sized pages. What’s more amazing is that an experienced developer with little prior XML/XSL experience can actually learn enough from this little gem to write competent XSL.

“A reference manual AND quality tutorial in 1/20th the space (and dead trees) of most tech books these days. I’ve recommended this to several of my colleagues who had to get up to speed on XSL for a new project, and the reaction from them is the same as mine…. This was EXACTLY what I needed.”

—Jim Garrison, posting on, 2/08 and comp.text.xml, 3/13/06

“I found that the XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference by Evan Lenz is a fantastic little reference book - its concise, explicit descriptions of XSLT concepts really helped me understand some of the ones which were lacking in this book.”

—Giles Gaskell, in an online review of another XSLT book

“If you need to get up to speed with XSLT 1.0, I *HIGHLY* recommend O’Reilly’s XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference, by Evan Lenz. It’s $10, readily available on the shelf at most Barnes & Noble stores, and is, in my opinion, the best quick reference yet written on XSLT 1.0. It only takes about three hours or so with that book and some good example cases to wrap your head around most basic XSLT 1.0.

“Grab that ASAP - if you’re starting to work extensively with XSLT, that book will never leave your side. I require the developers around here to buy a copy for themselves before I’ll spend any significant amount of time helping them debug their stylesheets.”

—Scott Trenda on the XSL-List, 5/7/08

“For beginners, I still very much recommend Evan Lenz’s little XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference from O’Reilly (as well as Jeni Tennison’s introductory treatment, already mentioned). It only covers XSLT 1.0, but it’s got an excellent concise writeup of the XSLT processing model, which still applies to 2.0, and that’s the place where beginners are most prone to getting stuck. You can start working with 2.0 right away with this book, understanding only that when things get hard, you can also look elsewhere since XSLT 2.0 almost certainly has a way to help. Master what’s in its 172 pages and you’ll gain quite a command of the language, in either version.”

—Wendell Piez on the XSL-List, 2/22/07

“Spot-on perfect. I own the O’Reilly XSLT Cookbook and Michael Kay’s enormous XSLT Programmer’s Reference, but I refer to the pocket reference more often than either of them. Evan Lenz targets exactly what you need to know to get a solid grasp on the fundamentals of XSLT, instantly clarifies those little built-in quirks that drive you crazy, and concisely explains every last option in the perfect amount of detail needed to utilize those parts of the language.

“With as open-ended of a syntax as XML is, you need a solid base for manipulating it with open-ended functionality; I think the downfall of the cookbooks and the pre-designed scripts is that they’re locked into a specific structure, and it’s never going to be exactly what you need for your project. With the XSLT Pocket Reference, however, it’s the exact opposite - Lenz empowers you to use these basic tools to their full extent, with your own creativity and innovation as the backdrop. Then when you run into a quirk, you’ll find that there’s another small part of his explanation that will get you back on track in no time.

“I bought this book because I only have access to MSXSL (XSLT 1.0 only) at work, and it’s allowed me to do amazing things with the most basic structures. My only complaint about the book is that it spends a good third of the book outlining different EXSLT elements and functions; I think that a library of EXSLT extensions would be better handled in its own book. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier with it.”

—reader review by “korisu” on

Praises for Office 2003 XML
“Reading this chapter allowed me for the first time to look at the WordprocessingML files as something other than a jumble of strings that happens to be well-formed XML—strings more for machines than humans. The clear, precise, masterful discussion of the format made it—well, clear and precise. The scales fell from my eyes!”

—reader’s response to Chapter 2, “The WordprocessingML Vocabulary”

“Clear, concise, and packed with practical knowledge. I work with XML, XSLT, and C# for a living, and this book had me using XSLT to whip up WordprocessingML documents in no time. I especially appreciated learning how to turn off the default “Word” display of WordML documents in Internet Explorer. I’m also using Evan’s great XSLT that mimics Word’s “data-only” output format—as part of a process to validate foreign tag sets in WordML documents. Thank you!”

—Zander Westendarp, Software Developer at Microsoft
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